By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, Reuters
September 10, 2012
President Obama wants to raise the top marginal income tax rate on salaries and other ordinary income from 35 percent to 39.6 percent by letting the extended temporary Bush tax cuts expire at year-end.
Mitt Romney wants to drop the top rate by a fifth to 28 percent (and his running mate, Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, has called for a top rate of 25 percent). So who pays the 35 percent rate? How much do they pay? And how much more would they pay if the Clinton-era rate of 39.6 percent were restored? As this graphic shows, had the 39.6 percent rate been in effect in 2009, a few people making as little as $100,000 to $200,000 would have been affected. The total increase per taxpayer in that large group would be less than a penny each.
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